Just tell us your story.


Wilson Leaders are diverse in their disciplines, political views, approaches to problem-solving, leadership styles, and career plans. Applicants should be interested in improving the world around them, and in actively participating in a problem that invests in their ability to do so. Our program develops Wilson Leaders’ skills, exposes them to new ideas, and builds a community that will continue to grow.


Applicants for both the undergraduate and graduate award should be willing and able to invest at least 15 hours/month in the program from September to November and January to March.


  • Award held in final year undergraduate academic year studies
  • Open to full-time McMaster students in any first-entry bachelors program
  • Canadian citizens
  • Students in good standing, with at least an 8.0 cumulative GPA


  • Held in any year of graduate study, whether in research- or course-based program
  • Open to full-time current and incoming McMaster graduate students in all degree programs (MD/PhD students may hold the award only in years with no MD program requirements)
  • Canadian citizens
  • Students in good standing
  • Students who can connect their studies and interests to one or more of Democracy, the Economy, Education, Healthcare, the Impacts of Technology, and Public Policy, in a Canadian context
  • Note: We advise graduate Wilson Leaders not to hold a teaching or research assistantship while participating in the program. Successful applicants will be required to provide a letter of support from their supervisor or graduate chair.


Applications for the graduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards must be received at wilsonleader@mcmaster.ca by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 1, 2019, with optional nomination forms due March 25, 2019.

Applications for the undergraduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards next open in September 2019, for undergraduate students graduating in 2021.


"I've always been a strong, hardworking student, but my grades would not put me in a position to receive academic awards. This one was different: it wasn’t necessarily looking for a student with perfect grades, but for leadership potential, and I felt like that was me. I knew that if I had the chance, this opportunity could change my life."
— Andrew Richards, Wilson Leader Alumnus